Title

Earthquakes in the Pamplona Zone, Yakutat Block, South Central Alaska

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1997

Abstract

The Pamplona zone is a region of complex deformation and moderate seismicity located within the Yakutat block, a region that has been relatively aseismic since a series of large (M>7.8) earthquakes in 1899. In 1970 a sequence of moderate to large sized earthquakes occurred within the Pamplona zone (largest event of Mw =6.7). Together with a Mw =6.1 event in 1958, these events are the only M≥5.5 events known to have occurred in the Pamplona region since 1900. Thus these events give important information on internal deformational processes within the Yakutat block. Waveform modeling of three earthquakes in April 1970, showed rupture complexity along low angle, thrust faults. Focal depths indicate that two of the events occurred above the Wrangell-Aleutian megathrust, while the largest event may have occurred on the megathrust. Events in 1958 and February 1970 indicate that deformation within the western Pamplona zone is occurring along high angle (>60°) faults with reverse-oblique motion. We believe the Pamplona spur, the easternmost part of the Pamplona zone, may have behaved as an asperity during the 1899 sequence. The location of the spur may be influenced by a north-south trending fault zone in the subducting Pacific plate that appears to be responsible for the 1987–1992 Gulf of Alaska sequence, occurring 50 to 200 km south of the Pamplona zone.

Copyright Statement

An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 1997 American Geophysical Union.